When do you need to talk to an attorney who practices Elder Law . . . and what is Elder Law, anyway?
Attorneys who practice in the area of Elder Law spend a lot of time educating the public about what they do. The short answer is that they assist clients over age 65 with a variety of legal issues.
During the month of May, local attorneys who are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are celebrating National Elder Law Month in order to raise awareness regarding the legal issues facing this segment of the population.
The real value of an Elder Law attorney is their understanding of the convergence of clients’ legal concerns with their social, medical and financial needs. That means that Elder Law attorneys don’t just draft wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, they also counsel clients about planning for incapacity with the appropriate healthcare decision-making documents.
In addition, Elder Law attorneys typically help clients plan for their possible long-term care needs, including at-home care and assisted living or nursing home care. Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating public and private resources to finance the cost of that care, and working to ensure the client’s right to quality care are all part of an Elder Law practice. Elder Law attorneys are familiar with the network of services and providers who assist clients effectively.
Consider consulting an Elder Law Attorney if you or someone you love:
- Is entering a long-term care facility (nursing home, assisted living, etc.) and needs help understanding how to pay for their care while preserving assets
- Needs to appoint someone to make financial or healthcare decisions in the event of incapacity
- Are concerned about a loved one’s continuing ability to manage their own affairs, due to Alzheimer’s, dementia or other condition
- Needs to create an estate plan, including a will, power of attorney, healthcare proxy, living trust, etc.
- Needs assistance navigating and coordinating long-term care benefits through Medicaid or the VA